We’ve all done it. We’ve broken someone’s heart. We’ve spoken out of turn. We’ve been selfish. We’ve been insecure. We’ve been jealous. We’ve been impatient. The list of things we wish we could have done differently would likely fill pages, but here’s what happens when you eliminate 3 little words that infer regret, and replace them with something better.
These are the words of regret. They keep us attached to the past, and prohibit forward movement. It isn’t that some circumstances don’t need to be grieved, but no matter what happens to us in this life, regret serves little purpose. Compassion for ourselves and others — gratitude for lessons learned — faith that we can and will choose differently in the future — these are the thoughts of champions.
Pau McCartney of the Beatles once wrote an entire song about letting go of stuck emotions.
“Let it Be.”
It was penned when he finally let go of his pain after losing his mother, but it can be applied to any loss we’ve suffered.
Empowered people feel their pain, and then move on. They focus on the prize. They don’t wallow in grief. They allow pain to move through them unimpeded, and then seize the moment to do exactly what they can RIGHT NOW to improve the situation.
Sometimes, that’s nothing more than allowing things to be as they are, but other times, if you get really honest with yourself, there is a list of about 10 things you CAN do — not that you should do. Instead of beating yourself up about what you could have done differently in the past — look at that list, and pick one thing to do differently starting today.
Should, Would and Could have no place for the realistic optimist. You know that you are going to make mistakes, and if you have amazing goals, you’re going to make a lot of them. You allow those mistakes to happen, and then instead of “shoulding all over yourself,” you pick yourself up, acknowledge that you goofed, and look at the next right move to make in the moment.
Should, Would and Could imply that you are supposed to be perfect, instead of just getting better every day. This is your goal — to improve. To grow. To reach your potential little by little.
Can, Will and Shall allow you to build your willpower. Start with giving up one junk food. Call someone you haven’t talked to in years that needs to know you love them. Write a letter to your old girlfriend/boyfriend, and let them off the hook for hurting you. Donate some time to a worthy cause. Take the stairs instead of sitting on the sofa in front of the TV when you get home or go for a walk. What CAN you do today to make positive change in your life?
Should implies that you have no will, no power to change. Could implies that your goals are for someone else to achieve, not you. Would implies that there is something, no matter how insignificant, that is holding you back from your highest self.
Ditch those 3 words – Should, Could, Would
Replace them with I AM. . .
You get the drift. These 3 words aren’t for you. You are bigger than them.
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